The Power of Listening to Yourself Give Advice
The advice we give is the advice we most need to hear ourselves.
I serve on the board of a company that had its two-day board retreat in August. I found myself giving out a lot of advice during those two days, and I decided to use my journal to note down the advice that I was dispensing: what I was recommending to do, not to do, the mindset the CEO should be in, etc.. Every piece of advice I gave to this company’s leadership was advice I needed to hear myself. I don’t think my advice was off-base for the context of this company, but somehow my subconscious mind had chosen to select and then speak the advice that it, itself, was most needing. It was both profoundly eerie and revelatory, and it made me realize that sometimes the only way we can effectively speak to ourselves is to boomerang advice out, and be open to receiving when it comes back. In some ways, giving advice is not an arrogant act that is rooted in believing yourself to be an expert, but rather an act of humble, self-aware selfishness: what I share with you I also might need myself.